Marvel NOW! launched this week with Uncanny Avengers 1. I read it, but will not be reviewing it below, because I will not be buying it in the future. While I love Rick Remender and his writing, I'm ambivalent about Cassady's art. I know this is blasphemy to some, but I just don't think it's that good. Plus, the story doesn't have much for me to care about. I want a Brubaker-written Cap, or no Cap at all. I've never cared about Thor, the Scarlet Witch or Rogue. Havok is super interesting as a character and I have a feeling he's going to be even better in this new, post-Scott Summers Marvel Universe, but if the only way he's getting play is as a foil, that means it's only a matter of time until the story of Scott's "redemption" is upon us. And there's nothing in the world I want to read less than that.
Batman 13 - The beginning of The Death of the Family was billed as a huge deal, and Scott Snyder doesn't disappoint. The first chapter is as good as anything in the vaunted Court of Owls story, which everyone should know I was a little disappointed in the ending of. The return of the Joker feels like one of the few elements of the DC reboot that was actually planned and has the weight that editorial is trying to force on everything else. The fact that the ending plays out like it does (not the backup with great art by Jock, but the actual spoilertastic ending of the main story) says a lot about where this story is going to go. Here's to hoping for some serious Joker-level mayhem. P.S. All of the covers were pretty amazing.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 14 - Man. This was really, really bad. I'm a fan of the LGBT community and I'm for pushing ideas, but geez, a whole comic dedicated to just the idea that gay people are people too? Doesn't exactly have that subtle Wedonesque ring, does it? It doesn't help that the pencils were choppy and that the story had nothing to do with anyone we cared about. If this arc is all about Billy, I'll seriously consider skipping it, based on this issue. Season 9 has been more disappointment than happiness. Words I never thought I'd say.
Ultimate X-Men 18 - Meh. I'm happy they're showing how long of a fight this is going to be, and setting up Kitty and James are a great couple leaders, but I'm just not interested in this aspect of the Ultimate Universe. Nick Fury should know better, too. He should get President Cap over here, have him clean up the whole mess, like he did the rest of the country in a single day, and then we could move on. Instead, the tone of this book is going to shift dramatically, which could be a good thing, but doesn't appeal to me. If it does to you, more power to you. Next issue seems like it's gonna be a quick wrap-up despite the advice Fury gives to Kitty here. Over the top foreshadowing. Not my cup of tea.
Wolverine and the X-Men 18 - Wow. Did not see this ending happening. I love the fact that the dance was actually billed as Dance Like There's No Tomorrow. The concept of "tomorrow" has always been a huge one in the X Family, and I feel like this issue, with its focus on the school, and on Xavier had a great grasp on that feeling. Jason Aaron's writing continues to get stronger and stronger, he's really got a great hold on the ideas that are behind our feelings for these characters, whether they're newly introduced folks like Idie or Broo, or old-hat staples like Kitty, Husk or Logan. The only thing that still feels off is the kiddie Hellfire Club, but I think they're about to take several steps up the ladder of true evil.
Book of the week goes to Batman in something of a process of elimination. It's not that Batman wasn't clearly the champ, but with Buffy being so terrible and Ultimate X-Men having nothing going on, Batman's triumph feels a little hollow.